Outdoor Entertaining: Put the ‘Great’ in Your Party on the Lake

Sophisticated recipes, guides, and tips for a nautical brunch


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Indigo Linens and Pillows, grey stripe pillow, $98; indigo pillow, $175; indigo linen, $295, ceramic cups and dishes, cups, $26, abigail murray; abigail-murray.com. scalloped ceramic serving dish, $125, Zieben Mare; 248-539-8879; ziebenmare.com. Ceramic serving spoon, $40, make.do.studio; katiebramlage.com. Checkered outdoor platter and plates, wooden spoons, cutting board, checkered platter and plates, $15 & $45; wooden spoons, $10; cutting board, $90; all zieben mare; 248-539-8879; ziebenmare.com; marble bowl, $30, lori karbal; 248-258-1959; lorikarbal.com. Floral arrangements; loden floral; lodenfloral.com; price by request, pewter tray, copper serving piece, wooden forks/knives; stylist's own


Snack Attack

If you’re doing your trip right, you’ll spend several hours on the water. Pack these treats into Mason jars for spill-proof, fool-proof snacking.

• Carrot sticks and celery stalks with individual cups of peanut butter or hummus
• Trail mix or mixed nuts
• Fresh fruit such as berries, cherries, grapes, and apples (slice ahead of time and spritz with lemon juice to prevent browning)
• Prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella sticks with basil leaves
• Crackers
• Popcorn (spice it up with a little nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chili pepper, or other dry spices)
• Roasted edamame

Blush ceramic dishes, $42, abigail Murray; abigail-murray.com


Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits with Cardamom-Ginger Granola: 

Makes 4 servings

Granola is kind of like avocado toast; it is stupid-easy to make and can be expensive when you go the store-bought route. 

½ cup canola oil
1 cup maple syrup, divided into ½ cups
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cardamom
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup toasted coconut*
1 cup toasted almonds**
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups fresh fruit, such as berries, mangoes, and pineapple


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, mix the oil, ½ cup maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and salt. Add the rolled oats and mix well — the only way to really coat those oats is to get in there (with your impeccably clean hands). Pour the mixture onto sheet pan and bake in the oven until toasty and golden brown, about 50 minutes, turning the oats every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Transfer to a clean container.

Combine the yogurt and remaining ½ cup maple syrup in a bowl. In a mason jar, layer the fruit and sweet yogurt. Repeat two more times. Top with a sprinkling of granola, coconut, almonds, chia seeds, and fresh fruit.

*Spread unsweetened coconut flakes on a sheet pan and toast in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, turning them at the halfway point. Keep a close eye on them; the flakes will go from not toasted to burnt in mere seconds.  

**In a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet, toast the almonds for 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently to prevent burning. You’ll know they’re done when they’re golden brown and fragrant.

Pack It Up

• Trays and serving ware for toasts, tarts, and quiches
• Forks, knives, spoons
• Plates
• Glassware
• Mason jars
• Napkins
• Blankets
• Knives and cutting board
• Trash bags
• Paper towels
• Ice

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